Buying Coursera shares: what you need to know

Online-learning platform Coursera has completed its IPO, which gave the company a total valuation of $5.9 billion on its first trading day. Discover everything you need to know about the company and how to trade Coursera shares.

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When was the Coursera IPO?

Coursera’s IPO took place on March 31 2021, listing the company shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘COUR’.

Coursera sold around 14.7 million shares of its common stock, with current shareholders offering 1.1 million shares. Lead underwriters for the offering were Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, while Citigroup and UBS Investment Bank acted as additional bookrunners.

See more IPOs to watch in 2021.

Coursera IPO valuation: How much are Coursera shares worth?

Coursera stock began trading at $39 per share and closed up at $45 each, giving Coursera a market capitalisation of $5.9 billion at end of day.

Prior to the IPO, Coursera priced its shares at $33 – at the higher end of its target range – which would’ve raised approximately $519 million and given it a valuation of about $4.3 billion. So, all in all, the IPO was considered a great success for the firm.

Coursera’s previous valuation was $3.6 billion according to PitchBook.

How to trade Coursera shares

You can trade Coursera shares with City Index by following these four easy steps:

  1. Open a City Index account, or log-in if you’re already a customer
  2. Search for ‘Coursera’ in our award-winning platform
  3. Choose your position and size, and your stop and limit levels
  4. Place the trade

Or, find out more about trading stocks and shares here.

What is Coursera?

Coursera is an online learning platform that colleges and universities can use to offer courses on a variety of subjects, including machine learning and cloud computing. It aims to give access to education to all, regardless of geography or socioeconomic background.

Coursera was created in 2011, when Stanford professor Andrew Ng started recording and releasing videos of himself lecturing on machine learning. Within just a few weeks, the videos were reaching more than 100,000 people.

Together with his colleague Daphne Koller, Ng launched Coursera as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform. While there are a huge number of MOOCs available, Coursera has quickly become the largest.

Coursera is partnered with over 190 institutions from more than 40 countries and offers 3,200+ courses in 13 different languages.

How does Coursera make money?

Coursera makes money by charging users a fee to enter and use various parts of its platform. While it does offer free course access too, its product and payment structure looks something like this:

  • Signature tracks – these courses cost between $30-$100
  • Specialisations – a monthly subscription that costs between $39-$89
  • Coursera Plus – an annual subscription which costs £287 per year
  • Coursera degrees – a full degree program can be between $15,000 to $45,000
  • Coursera for businesses – this costs companies $400 per employee per year.

On April 24 2020, Coursera even started offering Coursera Workforce Government Recovery initiative, which would allow governments to give unemployed workers access to Coursera’s courses. Each government would receive up to 50,000 licenses.

This effort attracted more than 1 million learners worldwide, equating to a further 6.6 million course enrolments.

As all of Coursera’s revenue is generated through online avenues, it benefitted from a surge in demand during the Covid-19 pandemic. As of March 2021, Coursera’s platform was used by more than 3,700 colleges and universities, with enrolment rising from 45 million last year to 76 million.

Is Coursera profitable?

Coursera is not currently profitable. Despite recording a record revenue of $293.5 million in 2020, the company posted a net loss of $66.8 million, up 43% from the previous year.

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Revenue

$60M

$100M

$140M

NA

$293.5M

What is Coursera’s strategy?

Coursera believes that as the world job market moves further toward automation and digital processes, educating the workforce on the skills needed will be crucial. Coursera’s strategy is based on offering a variety of different products at different experience levels for different prices.

While most MOOCs are created without a business strategy per say, Coursera has managed to monetise its platform. This has meant that Coursera no longer falls into the ‘free education’ concept that most MOOCs are based on.

Coursera has also been expanding away from the simpler online courses into offering fully online bachelor’s and master’s degrees that range in cost from $15,000 to $45,000. There are now more than 11,000 students enrolled in 26 programs.

The global online education sector is expected to be worth between $42 billion and $66 billion by 2026, and currently Coursera has the largest market share of this.

Who are the directors of Coursera?

Coursera’s leadership team, as of April 1 2021, looks like:

  • Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO
  • Shravan Goli, Chief Product Officer and Head of Consumer Revenue
  • Kim Caldbeck, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Betty Vandenbosch, Chief Content Officer
  • Rich Jacquet, Chief People Officer
  • Richard Wong, Vice President of Engineering
  • Leah Belsky, Senior Vice President of Enterprise
  • Ken Hahn, Chief Financial Officer
  • Xueyan Wang, Vice President of Services
  • Anne Tuttle Cappel, General Counsel

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